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Apple Sued Over Potential Hearing Loss

Zonk posted more than 8 years ago | from the so-turn-it-down dept.

Music 754

freaktheclown writes "A man is suing Apple, claiming that the iPod can cause hearing loss for those who use it." From the article: "The iPod players are 'inherently defective in design and are not sufficiently adorned with adequate warnings regarding the likelihood of hearing loss,' according to the complaint, filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court in San Jose, Calif., on behalf of John Kiel Patterson of Louisiana. The suit, which Patterson wants certified as a class-action, seeks compensation for unspecified damages and upgrades that will make iPods safer."

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Stop (3, Insightful)

MountainMan101 (714389) | more than 8 years ago | (#14625083)

The world has enough proof that there is no intelligent life in the US.

Re:Stop (5, Funny)

Neeko110 (933053) | more than 8 years ago | (#14625109)

Warning: Nail Clippers will cut nails.

I'm taking dibs on iRiver (2, Funny)

Goostoff (930045) | more than 8 years ago | (#14625084)

If he gets Apple, then I'm calling iRiver for the damage they've done to my hearing.

Re:I'm taking dibs on iRiver (5, Funny)

rishistar (662278) | more than 8 years ago | (#14625195)

And I'm suing slashdot for the mental anguish caused by a certain goatse picture.

1 thread (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14625088)

fp, mofos

It was his choice. (5, Insightful)

Bomarrow1 (903375) | more than 8 years ago | (#14625090)

Well too me this seems rather unfair on Apple.
In short he had the volume control and it was in his power to change it to the correct level for him.

It sounds all too like the person who burgled and empty house and fell though the rotten floor boards. Then he sued.

He shouldn't have had the volume high enough to damage his hearing anyway.

It seems like saying I should sue /. for keeping me a wake all night to try and get first posts.

I'm sure if he wins many more will follow though.Could this be the demise of Apple?

Playing Devil's Advocate... (0, Troll)

SerpentMage (13390) | more than 8 years ago | (#14625186)

As much as I would like to agree with you, I think he has a case for one reason...

In the early days headphones sat on the side of your head and let in other noise. However, with the IPod ear buds fit 100% percent into your ear. This means you get music and only music. I saw a news article in German that said because the ear buds fit tightly and do not let other noise in you are subject to the noise of the ear buds.

The short and curly of it. Even if you put the noise level REALLY low you could get hearing impaired...

Re:Playing Devil's Advocate... (5, Insightful)

mrchaotica (681592) | more than 8 years ago | (#14625216)

Right, so now explain why he's singling out Apple instead of suing everybody who makes earbud-style headphones.

Re:Playing Devil's Advocate... (5, Interesting)

QuietLagoon (813062) | more than 8 years ago | (#14625258)

Even if you put the noise level REALLY low you could get hearing impaired...

Think about that statement for a minute, then explain it to me once again, answering the following question: how can REALLY low noise impair your hearing? Be specific, make sure you talk about the decibel level at which that REALLY low noise can impair your hearing.

Re:Playing Devil's Advocate... (3, Insightful)

QuantaStarFire (902219) | more than 8 years ago | (#14625260)

The problem with that is that earbuds have been around for years, probably a decade or more now, so there's been plenty of time to document such side-effects and make people aware of them, or pull such headphones off the market.

I don't get why people use those things anyways. They always hurt my ears (and I have friends bitch about that all the time as well), so I tend to use larger headphones that just cover my ears entirely. They do pretty much the same thing, and they're not a PITA to wear (though maybe a PITA to carry around; then again, I wear them most of the time. Like right now, for instance.)

1983 called... (4, Funny)

rbochan (827946) | more than 8 years ago | (#14625217)

... they want their lawsuit back.
Wasn't the same thing done over the Sony Walkman?

Re:It was his choice. (2, Funny)

Jupix (916634) | more than 8 years ago | (#14625275)

It seems like saying I should sue /. for keeping me a wake all night to try and get first posts.

And then you post and come in second.. Oh, the humanity...

Uh oh... (1)

Saxton (34078) | more than 8 years ago | (#14625092)

Luckily the speakers used in Apple's PowerBooks and iBooks are specifically designed to not cause hearing loss, or they'd really be screwed.

Re:Uh oh... (0)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 8 years ago | (#14625163)

Actually, I would be more inclined to sue over the PowerBook. When you plug in headphones then it keeps the same volume, but switches output to the headphones. This means that you get a painful volume if you forget to turn down the volume before you put on your headphones; something that can happen a lot if you switch between speakers and headphones frequently. I filed a bug about this on the 28th of January, 2005 (bug #3979070) and it was marked as a duplicate.

ignorant (5, Insightful)

dbucowboy (891058) | more than 8 years ago | (#14625093)

This just shows how ignorant people can be... it's like suing the maker of a handgun because you were careless with it. Take responsibility for your actions people... if you listen to your iPod too loud then deal with the consequences of your stupidity.

Sure that sounds good and all, but... (5, Insightful)

Mille Mots (865955) | more than 8 years ago | (#14625199)

This just shows how ignorant people can be... it's like suing the maker of a handgun because you were careless with it. Take responsibility for your actions people... if you listen to your iPod too loud then deal with the consequences of your stupidity.

I can only assume that you haven't paid attention to the goings-on in the US for the last, oh, two point five decades or so. There is no need to assume responsibility for your actions, as long as you can find a lawyer (you can't swing a dead cat without hitting one) to plead your case. The goal isn't to win a trial, but to win a settlement. Cash in, as it were. There's a whole industry built around these nuisance suits. The worst part is that the ones that do go to a jury trial are likely to be succesful anyway as the jurors apparently sit there thinking, 'Well, if we give this guy a big award, when it's our turn...' Entitlement mentality.

On top of that, you get the 'junk science' lawsuits. Dow Corning and the silicone breast implant bankruptcy is a prime example. There never was and is not any scientific evidence that silicone breast implants lead to any of the medical conditions (real or imagined) that were the cause of those lawsuits. I believe there are still silicone implants available, too (although DC is no longer maufacturing them).

Some times I think I went to bed last night in one timeline. A timeline where normal, common sense prevails. Yet, somehow I've woken up in another timeline. One where everything is slightly off kilter. Not enough to be grossly disorienting, but just enough to be maddeningly noticeable.

Sig sour

Re:Sure that sounds good and all, but... (1)

dbucowboy (891058) | more than 8 years ago | (#14625249)

Seriously. I've given up on the hope of common sense ever being lived out in our society again. It's sad.

Stupidity (1, Informative)

FidelCatsro (861135) | more than 8 years ago | (#14625095)

I had no Idea Stupidity was grounds for a law suit.
It has been known since before the dawn of portable audio that loud noises hurt your hearing.
Sticking headphones in your ears and putting it at full blast is obviously going to damage your hearing .
This is people trying to get rich off their own stupidity , which is hardly surprising as 90% of lawsuits are exactly the same.

Re:Stupidity (1)

Pensacola Tiger (538962) | more than 8 years ago | (#14625189)

I had no Idea Stupidity was grounds for a law suit.

You obviously haven't been following the SCO vs IBM, SCO vs Novell, SCO vs Autozone or SCO ve Daimler-Chrysler lawsuits, have you?

Re:Stupidity (1)

JoshDev (780839) | more than 8 years ago | (#14625193)

This reminds me of the part Douglas Adam wrote in "So Long, and Thanks For All The Fish" where Zonko the Sane no longer wanted to be a part of a world that had to put instructions on the back of a toothpick package. Too many people are excited by the get rich ability of suing a big company for a lot of money. Claiming stupidity and the fact that the company didn't warn them is silly. Plus, it ruins it for all of the justified lawsuits out there where the company is truly at fault.

Re:Stupidity (1, Funny)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 8 years ago | (#14625205)

I walked past a girl today[1], and from about two metres away I could clearly hear her music (which, by the way, was really rubbish). I don't know if she is deaf, but she soon will be...

The real problem with this kind of device is that you can damage your hearing a small amount. You then turn up the volume to compensate, and damage your hearing more. Going deaf by induction, if you like. I recall hearing about this in 1988 though, so it's not exactly news by any definition other than Slashdot's.

[1] An actual girl! Honest!

Re:Stupidity (4, Funny)

Jugalator (259273) | more than 8 years ago | (#14625228)

The old quote comes to mind...
<xterm> The problem with America is stupidity. I'm not saying there should be a capital punishment for stupidity, but why don't we just take the safety labels off of everything and let the problem solve itself?

Re:Stupidity (1)

Nerdfest (867930) | more than 8 years ago | (#14625234)

You obviously haven't been paying attention. Stupidity seems to be the grounds for most lawsuits. This is the reason for 'lawyerproofing' labels on products that make people with positive IQ's say 'Why would they need to put a label like that on something'.

Re:Stupidity (1)

Churla (936633) | more than 8 years ago | (#14625235)

You had no idea? You don't live in the US, do you? The predominant export of the US legal system are law suits basied in a 50/50 mix od stupidity and greed.

Re:Stupidity (1)

aed (156746) | more than 8 years ago | (#14625243)

Someone should come up with a law making this kind of stupidity illegal (so companies (in this case Apple) can countersue)
I think a proper punishment should be weekly (or daily, depending on the stupid act) lectures in common sense.
Ofcourse guns can kill, ofcourse coffee is hot, offcourse a microwave is not for drying small pets... *DUHHHH*

I think they should call this law The Darwin Act :)

If Big Tobacco... (-1, Flamebait)

2674 (661934) | more than 8 years ago | (#14625096)

...can pay for Cancer, why the hell shouldn't Apple pay for hearing loss? Even though music is not addictive like tobacco? Who the hell cares, this is US, is it not? sue, sue, sue.

Re:If Big Tobacco... (1)

The Only Druid (587299) | more than 8 years ago | (#14625148)

A: Big Tobacco not only knowingly distributed a product that causes cancer without telling people, it supressed studies indicating that carcinogenic effect.

B: Prior to Apple's introduction of the iPod, the physics and biology of hearing loss due to loud sounds was well developed.

Re:If Big Tobacco... (1)

pboulang (16954) | more than 8 years ago | (#14625162)

In order for your analogy to make sense, Apple would have had to say that there is no correlation between high sound levels and hearing loss.

Besides, who would they pay, the guy that brought the suit and didn't even claim hearing loss?

No personal accountability anymore. (5, Insightful)

grub (11606) | more than 8 years ago | (#14625097)

Good idea!

I'll start suing the manufacturers of the various amplifiers, receivers, and speakers I've had over the past ~25 years of brutalizing my ears. And I'll name all the bands, especially Motorhead, who have given me pleasure in a separate suit!

My hearing probably isn't what it should be but the last thing I'd consider doing is suing the product makers.

written as the sweet sounds of Slayer fill my office... :)

Re:No personal accountability anymore. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14625156)

Only in a country South of Heaven, led by a man with a Dead Skin Mask, could an Epidemic of these Criminally Insane lawsuits happen.

Re:No personal accountability anymore. (1)

chrisbtoo (41029) | more than 8 years ago | (#14625160)

My hearing probably isn't what it should be but the last thing I'd consider doing is suing the product makers.

written as the sweet sounds of Slayer fill my office... :)

So, what, you're suing Slayer, then?

Re:No personal accountability anymore. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14625210)

#1 is Motorhead, then Slayer, Venom, Discharge, Cannibal Corpse, Napalm Death, G Allin (well, he's dead), Excruciating Terror, Dead Kennedys, Boris, Anal Cunt, Misfits, and countless others....

I'll be a rich man!

Re:No personal accountability anymore. (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14625171)

Ouch! I've just poked myself in the eye with my finger! I'm suing God!

Liebeck vs Patterson (1)

PhilippeT (697931) | more than 8 years ago | (#14625103)

Stella Liebeck vs John Kiel Patterson can't be to far away.

bogus (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14625104)

...and how are iPods any different from any other headphone-capable audio device?

Nothing to see here, move along

Shenanigans (3, Insightful)

The Only Druid (587299) | more than 8 years ago | (#14625107)

There are at least a few problems here (all of which have been discussed over the months since the first of these ridiculous complaints):

First, I've seen ZERO evidence that this has anything to with the iPod per se as opposed to just the nature of in-ear earphones.

Second, you only incur damage if you play the sound too loud. We've been quite saturated with information on that sort of effect for decades (Townshend?). If you cant figure out that it doesn't matter where the sound is coming from, just how loud it is, then screw you.

There's more, but this alone is enough to dismiss this crap...

Re:Shenanigans (-1, Offtopic)

The Only Druid (587299) | more than 8 years ago | (#14625237)

OFFTOPIC: Again, we have evidence of how crappy this moderation system is. While my above post was only ranked 2 (having gotten one positive moderation) it was then moderated "overrated". We need a better system, this is crap.

Warning! (1)

dr_wheel (671305) | more than 8 years ago | (#14625113)

Contents herein may be EXTREMELY LOUD!

who's liable? (1)

Jippy T Flounder (819544) | more than 8 years ago | (#14625115)

i really think that in cases such as these, the state should sue the parents of the plaintiff for gross negligence in raising a child - anybody that unequipped to deal with the real world needs to be dealt with or put down.

like the mcdonald's coffee case. and countless others.

Re:who's liable? (2, Informative) (907022) | more than 8 years ago | (#14625223)

People have been citing the McDonalds coffee lawsuit since it happened as an example of stupid lawsuits, and I don't know how many times I've had to point this out to people: McDonalds' had been very negligent about the way they delt with their coffee. [] has a list of facts about the case which you would be well-advised to read, including that McDonalds keeps their coffee significantly hotter than other restraunts and that they had privately settled more than 700 cases like this in the past, but had taken no action to prevent it happening again.

McDonald's Coffee (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14625229)

I knew someone would bring up the McDonald's Coffee case.

The knee-jerk reaction to any seemingly stupid/frivolous litigation (or patent) is to assume that the summary = the case, when in fact things tend to be more complex.

There are a lot of details to the McDonald's case that the unwashed masses tend to not know:

Some important points:
"McDonalds coffee was not only hot, it was
scalding -- capable of almost instantaneous destruction of skin, flesh
and muscle."
"[she] suffered full
thickness burns (or third-degree burns) over 6 percent of her body,
including her inner thighs, perineum, buttocks, and genital and groin
"During discovery, McDonalds produced documents showing more than 700
claims by people burned by its coffee between 1982 and 1992. Some claims
involved third-degree burns substantially similar to Liebecks."
"it held its coffee at between 180 and 190 degrees fahrenheit to
maintain optimum taste. .. Other establishments sell
coffee at substantially lower temperatures, and coffee served at home is
generally 135 to 140 degrees." [] cdonalds.htm [] naldsCoffeecase.aspx []

Re:who's liable? (1)

JohnFluxx (413620) | more than 8 years ago | (#14625245)

Oh jeez, not another clueless person bringing up the macdonalds case. MacDonalds was very clearly in the wrong -go read up on it before you look stupid again.

hearing ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14625116)

huh hearing what?

WARNING! (0, Redundant)

Darren Winsper (136155) | more than 8 years ago | (#14625119)

Loud noises can damage your hearing! This was something I was taught in primary school, it doesn't require a genious to know these things.

Re:WARNING! (-1, Flamebait)

garcia (6573) | more than 8 years ago | (#14625202)

It doesn't require a PhD to figure out that coffee served at McDonalds will be hot either... Yet on every cup of their coffee there are written warnings about it.

People that bring these suits are dumb and the juries that bring down judgements in favor of the dumbasses are even more dumb.

Obvious and open danger exists everywhere. We shouldn't need to be reminded of it.

Re:WARNING! (5, Funny)

xtracto (837672) | more than 8 years ago | (#14625284)

Yeah but, you are in USA, where, you know, people is stupid..

I got a great example with product warnings [] (agree, some are from Tesco, a UK company) but lot of them are from USA companies.

I love these:
Sears hairdryer:
Do not use while sleeping.

Nytol sleep aid:
Warning: may cause drowsiness.

Disposable razor:
Do not use this product during an earthquake.

Hand-held Massaging Device
Do not use while sleeping or unconscious. [O MY F GOD]

Microwave Oven:
Do not use for drying pets.

Anyway, better take a look at them, really funny... but makes you think... in a country where anyone can sue anybody for anything... what can you expect.

Didn't Pete Townsend come out this? (1)

Churla (936633) | more than 8 years ago | (#14625121)

I can say from personal experience I played in a band for years and hearing degredation from loud music is not something to laugh at, you should use the sign language for "HA" instead.

You can sue McDonalds for hot coffee you spill on yourself, why not sue Apple for loud music you deafen yourelf with?

Or am I once again off my rocker?

Re:Didn't Pete Townsend come out this? (1)

Delphiki (646425) | more than 8 years ago | (#14625181)

I thought Pete Townsend lost his hearing because of a mishap with the band's pyrotechnics, which caused a very loud explosion. If I'm remembering correctly, and that is what happened, it's not exactly the same thing as listening to your music too loud. Either way, the guy suing Apple is stupid.

Re:Didn't Pete Townsend come out this? (1)

GigsVT (208848) | more than 8 years ago | (#14625194)

Funny you say that, I did a search and from Pete Townshend's blog:

If you use an iPod or anything like it, or your child uses one, you MAY be OK. It may only be studio earphones that cause bad damage. I only have long experience of the studio side of things

Of course, if you take medical advice from Pete Townshend, you probably deserve what you get. :)

Re:Didn't Pete Townsend come out this? (1)

Johnny Sailor (936454) | more than 8 years ago | (#14625255)

[i]Or am I once again off my rocker?[/i] Off your rocker like a fox!

Re:Didn't Pete Townsend come out this? (1)

troc (3606) | more than 8 years ago | (#14625273)

You can sue anyone for anything BUT you shouldn't be able to sue (and win) against e.g. MacDonalds for huring yourself with hot coffee. I mean for pitys sake, you knew it was hot when you bought it. It's bloody coffee. What do you expect?

People should NOT win lawsuits where the main arguement was that they were stupid and it's someone else's fault. It'd be like suing Ford because you hurt yourself in a crash whilst not wearing seatbelts and it's their fault for not warning you enough. OR a drill company for not explicitely warning you that drilling holes in your head with a 10mm drill would cause damage. Or maybe suing God because there's no warning on the sun that it could blind you. Or suing the owner of a tall building for not telling you falling out of their windows would kill you.

Wait, I think there's a slight logical flaw in that last example. Hmm.


Re:Reason Why McDonalds Coffee Lawsuit Succeeded (1)

b0wl0fud0n (887462) | more than 8 years ago | (#14625281)

In the McDonald's coffee is to hot case, the plaintiff knew that the coffee being served was too hot and had recieved hundreds of complaints about how high the temperature was. The coffee was being served at 40-50 decgrees hotter than recommended. Yet, despite knowing so, McDonald's continued to serve coffee hot enough to cause third degree burns. Is coffee served hot enough to cause third degree burns not fit to drink? Do other drive-throughs serve coffee at a lower temperature? Is coffee served that hot defective? The jury in the McDonald's case answered "yes".

...what? (1)

keyne9 (567528) | more than 8 years ago | (#14625124)

So... don't turn the volume all the way up, moron?

Personal accountability is dead.

Re:...what? (1)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 8 years ago | (#14625280)

" So... don't turn the volume all the way up, moron?

I didn't. I only put it up to ten, and I still was damaged. (Mine goes to eleven).

Mailing the judge a salami (2, Funny)

Jim in Buffalo (939861) | more than 8 years ago | (#14625126)

I am going to mail a large salami to the judge, in hopes that he will use it to smack the plaintiff.

Re:Mailing the judge a salami (1)

Jippy T Flounder (819544) | more than 8 years ago | (#14625253)

objection! slapping someone with a salami may cause him to break out in hives. i suggest slapping him with the gavel.

Re:Mailing the judge a salami (2, Insightful)

argent (18001) | more than 8 years ago | (#14625263)

Send him an olive-loaf. It's a dual-purpose weapon, you can use it on mimes as well.

Speak up! (-1, Redundant)

insideyourhalo (591645) | more than 8 years ago | (#14625127)

Say again?

Properly "adorned"? (1)

ktappe (747125) | more than 8 years ago | (#14625130)

If he wins, we'll end up with the iMayCauseLossOfMyHearingBecauseIAmDumb on store shelves.... -Kurt

If it weren't his fault.... (1)

topham (32406) | more than 8 years ago | (#14625134)

If the problem was related to a bug in the iPod software whereby the volume would jump, or max itself out then I think he'd have a case.

Me, I don't really want Apple to add a volume restriction like they have on the European ones. It doesn't analyze the signal volume, it simply restricts the maximum volume the user can select. Thereby limiting the amount you can hear on an otherwise quite recording (of Classical music for example).

This is the kind of guy who would sue because he stuck his tongue on a metal pole when it's significantly below freezing.

Re:If it weren't his fault.... (1)

dr_dank (472072) | more than 8 years ago | (#14625191)

This is the kind of guy who would sue because he stuck his tongue on a metal pole when it's significantly below freezing.

In other news, the suit has been amended to include a mysterious defendant who "triple-dog-dared" the plaintiff. More on this as it develops.

Why stop there? (1)

timmy_otoole (516019) | more than 8 years ago | (#14625138)

Sue the instrument manufacturers, musicians, and record labels too.

Heaphone warnings (1)

noidentity (188756) | more than 8 years ago | (#14625141)

All the pairs of headphones and personal stereos I've gotten over the years have had warnings about hearing damage when listening at high volume for long periods of time. I hope this doesn't lead to devices which have a volume control that only goes to 2 (except cellphones... those damn things are loud as hell, and I mean other people's phones that broadcast the conversation everywhere).

Now Now... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14625143)

You all know there has NEVER before in history existed a devise that resonates sound that you put on your ears.

OH CRAP! Ma Bell's in for it! There is _NO_ warning on my telephone that it may cause hearing loss!!!!

For that matter, where's my 1985 brick-lookin walkman! I bet there's no warning on it either!

What is this world coming to???

Next they'll have to put a warning on internet access devices
*Warning - the contents may cause humor, stress, loss of social live, or erections.*

sure it's the ipod? (1)

FlashBuster3000 (319616) | more than 8 years ago | (#14625144)

I think he should sue every band he listened to, too. Most probably it was their fault to record loud music.

That's so stupid, it's only possible in the U.S.

I can see him in court now... (1)

db32 (862117) | more than 8 years ago | (#14625145)

Sir, you should not have had the volume up so loud. LALALALALALA I can't hear you!

I was raised as a poor sharecroppers son (1)

Ranger (1783) | more than 8 years ago | (#14625147)

Boy, this sounds an awful lot like a plot line from Steve Martin's The Jerk. [] His character invents these cool grippy glasses and makes a million or two. Later he's sued because everyone gets crosseyed for wearing the glasses.

Result: IPods get worse (1)

Kohath (38547) | more than 8 years ago | (#14625151)

The result of this will be less choice for iPod buyers. The iPods will be artificially limited so you can't play them very loud.

Lawsuit reform anyone?

I'll wait 'til he wins and then I'll pounce... (5, Funny)

Linker3000 (626634) | more than 8 years ago | (#14625152)

He's infringing my patent: US PAT 99846321-666 "A method for obtaining stupidly large amounts of financial compensation from commercial organisations by suing them because they failed to point out (rightly or otherwise) something mind-numbingly obvious about a potential (real or otherwise) hazard related to the use of their product/s that anyone with a small degree of common sense would be competent to identify for themselves and thus take appropriate action."

Obviously frivolous. (1)

Vellmont (569020) | more than 8 years ago | (#14625153)

The article claims it takes 28 seconds to damage your hearing at the loudest setting. That's plenty of time to take the earphones off, or lower the volume. If the iPod damaged hearing in under 1 or 2 seconds I could see how that would be an inherent flaw in the device as anyone can make that mistake by accident.

Obviously that's not the case, so I'd be surprised if this suit gets any father than dumb headlines on slashdot.

SHUT UP! (1)

gers0667 (459800) | more than 8 years ago | (#14625164)

Headphones can be loud.
Knives can be sharp.
Cars can go fast.

You've been warned!

Re:SHUT UP! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14625283)

Isn't that like blaming the pencil you're using for your spelling mistakes?

Translation (-1, Redundant)

lisaparratt (752068) | more than 8 years ago | (#14625170)

"Wah! Wah! Wah! I don't want to take responsibility for my own stupid actions!"

Philistines... (1)

benjjj (949782) | more than 8 years ago | (#14625172)

Win or lose, they're going to take the beautiful iPod and plaster warnings all over it. It's going to be hideous.

Louder please! (5, Interesting)

antonpiatek (223233) | more than 8 years ago | (#14625173)

Actually I want my iPod to go louder.

If I have a big pair of earphones on, then the iPod doesn't really have enough power to drive them. I have heard a rumor that a US firmware (as opposed to EU) will give it more volume (apparently the EU has a law that forces output to be capped at a *safe* level), but I have been unable to find any regional firmware at all.

Re:Louder please! (2, Interesting)

rmpotter (177221) | more than 8 years ago | (#14625232)

...or perhaps you want it to be louder because you _already_ have hearing loss. Have you had your hearing checked lately?

pants (1)

DarkClown (7673) | more than 8 years ago | (#14625178)

i'll be sueing levis because of poor blood circulation due to lack of warning on too-tight jeans.
my legs are sleeping but my rear is buffed.

Arghhh- Common sense, don't leave home without it (1)

ursabear (818651) | more than 8 years ago | (#14625188)

When I'm not a mild-mannered software engineer, I compose and record music. Should I sue myself if I have hearing loss from listening to my music? Should I sue Line 6, Fender, Gibson, and a host of others for making "loud" devices? I think not.

There's a thing called a volume control. When used in moderation, volume is cool.

These lawsuits shouldn't even be picked up by the lawyers in the first place.

this is what's wrong with america (1)

Daytona955i (448665) | more than 8 years ago | (#14625196)

First I live here in the USA and I love it here but....

People here are morons looking for a quick buck. I was amazed when I learned about the man who used his lawnmower to trim his hedges and then sued the lawnmower company when he hurt himself because there were no safetys or warning labels.

People need to start owning up to their own actions and stop expecting other people (in this case apple) to hold their hand.

I really wish judges could make the accuser pay for the legal teams of the other company for stupid and sensless lawsuits and disbar the lawyer who takes the case.

You know what this means? (1)

3.09 a hour (812839) | more than 8 years ago | (#14625198)

Now ipods (and indeed every electonic sounds device) will simply have the max volume reduced, covering thier asses from being sued, but for those of with heaing loss (that we actually liked getting thank you) were boned because the music is going to be a whisper. I mean seriously whats next, we sue cars manufacturers for not making a car that can steer away from an accident while im drunk? Nothing is my fault!

Other more dangerous products (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14625201)

What a great idea, I'm going to sue my car manufacturer for building a car that can go fast enough to kill me!

What is the volume control for ? (1)

lachesis-jp (886896) | more than 8 years ago | (#14625206)

I find this absolutely ridiculous to blame Apple for your own stupidity. It's not like they force you to listen a the iPod at maximum level, isn't it ?

Also portable music system have been around since sony's walkman and since then the same claim as been made over and over.

It's true. Listening at full volume will damage your hearing but arent you supposed to know that by now ?

It's bad when people can't take responsability for anything they are doing nowadays. It's the same as how parents don't want to take responsabilty for how they raise their own children and will blame everybody but themsleves when something goes wrong...

Only in the USA... (1)

winchester (265873) | more than 8 years ago | (#14625211)

...can lack of common sense be basis for a law suit.

Well.... (1)

Doggan (945328) | more than 8 years ago | (#14625212)

Not that I'm 'sue happy'... I have an iPod that hooks into my car stereo. To listen to the music there, I have to turn my iPod on max volume. When I leave my car, I flip the "Hold" switch on the iPod so it doesn't start by accident. Now I want to listen to my headphones. I plug them into the jack, flip off the Hold switch, turn the iPod on. The iPod started playing at the loudest possible volume setting. It was painful.

There should be some sort of 'lag-time' which allows you to adjust the volume before the music plays. It was the loudest thing I have ever heard.

He'll probably make some money (1)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 8 years ago | (#14625219)

Patterson does not know if the device has damaged his hearing, said his attorney, Steve W. Berman, of Seattle. But that's beside the point of the lawsuit, which takes issue with the potential the iPod has to cause irreparable hearing loss, Berman said. - of-course it is beside the point. The point is this dude wants a shit-load of money he did not deserve and he is prepared to be a litigious bastard to get it, truth be damned!

I hope Steve Jobs doesn't give in and sticks this lawsuit into this guy's ass like a handgrenade and makes his lawyers pull the pin. (an idea for a new product - iGrenade.)

Whats next? (1)

JFlex (763276) | more than 8 years ago | (#14625220)

What's next? People gonna start suing McDonalds for burning themselves with hot coffee? Geese, what's this world coming to.

Can I sue the RIAA now? (1, Funny)

antifoidulus (807088) | more than 8 years ago | (#14625226)

For mass-producing pop music so bad it makes me want to shove sharp objects in my ear just so I won't have to hear it anymore?

Why note sue... (-1, Redundant)

crashley (687791) | more than 8 years ago | (#14625230)

I am glad someone thought of this stupid stunt! Time for me to sue Boeing for all the damage my hearing has suffered from flying in and working around aircraft. On that same note, I guess I could sue Sony for the portable {Cassette Player, CD Player, Mini Disk Player .....} On a serious note: Someone in a post above mentioned it was like suing a gun manufacturer for killing someone. But isn't that the same argument for most P2P? And how about that woman who sued McDonalds because her coffee was HOT. I hate seeing things like this go forward - because this is the kind of lawsuit that is just common sense enough that the judge will rule in favor of the plaintiff.

huh? (1)

Per Wigren (5315) | more than 8 years ago | (#14625233)

I have tinitus since 1996. I don't hear it (or more correctly, think about it) when there is some background noise but it's driving me mad when it's silent. My hearing is still very good though, on the non-damaged frequences. My tinitus has made me much more sensitive to loud volumes than I was before 1996. I frequently go to clubs and concerts and but I hate it when they crank the volume too high, although using ear plugs helps. I like moderate volume.

That said, I have a 60GB iPod Video which I use every day when I'm on the metro, bus, shopping etc. I always have the volume set to max but it's still too damn low. It's impossible to hear the music when people sitting next to me are talking, there is motor noise from the bus, etc. The background noise is often louder than the music...

I fail to see how you can get hearing damages from the iPod. I have never used an older iPod though, could they go louder?

Don't steal (1)

slapout (93640) | more than 8 years ago | (#14625236)

But they did come with a warning to not steal music. It must be only the illegal downloads that harm hearing!

Re:Don't steal (1)

argent (18001) | more than 8 years ago | (#14625292)


I remember reading a warning about hearing loss when I unpacked my iPod.

Maybe you should have to prove you can read before you buy one?

Fair trade, I think (1)

JediTrainer (314273) | more than 8 years ago | (#14625242)

So it can cause hearing loss, all the while killing cancer [] . Sounds more like a feature than a bug!

slashdot (1)

dotpavan (829804) | more than 8 years ago | (#14625244)

I would sue Slashdot for not allowing me to work with my fullest ability, anybody with me?

Sensitivity level of different headphones (5, Informative)

jersey_emt (846314) | more than 8 years ago | (#14625247)

Every single set of headphones/earphones has a different sensitivity level. That is, feed the same amount of power to 2 different sets of phones, and one will be louder than the other because of the efficiency of the speaker drivers which convert electricity into vibrations.

Basically, at a given volume level on the portable player (say 75% of total) may produce 80 dB of sound output with Brand X headphones and 84 dB of sound output with Brand Y.

IMO if you damage your hearing it is your own damn fault. It is quite easy to tell if you are listening to something that is too loud. If your ears always ring after you listen to a couple of MP3's on your portable player, turn the freaking volume down, nimwit. Same deal if your ears bleed....

Humans are evolving into apes (1, Insightful)

Deputy Doodah (745441) | more than 8 years ago | (#14625252)

We've reversed evolution. Now the stupid unproductive people are the ones who are able to reproduce the most. They're able to do so by living off lawsuit money and welfare.

I'm suing the universe (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14625264)

All those sounds I hear everyday have damaged my hearing. Everything should have a WARNING CAUSES SOUNDS label on it.

defective hardware vs. defective software (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14625265)

"He's bought a product which is not safe to use as currently sold on the market," Berman said. "He's paying for a product that's defective, and the law is pretty clear that if someone sold you a defective product they have a duty to repair it."

Why isn't this logic applicable to software? We'd get rid of Microsoft in a second!

Horse Hockey! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14625270)

I hope the suit gets tossed. Only person getting rich out of this deal is the lawyer. Chances are he has some gas-guzzling vehicle that he can no longer afford to drive.

In Related News... (1)

Shoten (260439) | more than 8 years ago | (#14625279)

A class-action lawsuit has been formed by fat people against the Acme Spoon Company, on the claims that their products were insufficiently labeled that excessive use of their product might make someone gain weight.

Western Society (1)

SlowSlow (796222) | more than 8 years ago | (#14625287)

Obviously this is a frivolous case, but what has happened to western society? Why did we let lawyers take over? Is there any way to stop this?

I was somewhat recently in China and this is not the case. One of the first things I noticed is that there are no guard rails for anything. There are six foot drops from sidewalks that have no railings. Parks run directly into big rivers. Although China's government may be a unique case, but I think that the non-western society expects more common sense from their people.
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